By Gregory Pings, manager of Content Marketing for Xerox

What will work look like five or 10 years from now? To answer that question, you turn to the people who, at this very moment, are inventing our future. That’s what brought author, speaker and futurist Jacob Morgan to PARC, a Xerox company.

This episode of Morgan’s The Future of Work Show features PARC CEO Steve Hoover and several PARC scientists, who takes Morgan on a tour of the storied research center.

According to Hoover, collaboration will be key to the future of work. But remember, we’re talking about the guy who runs the research center that developed personal computers and the icons that are now part of our smartphones – in other words, the technology that changed how we do work today. When Hoover talks about “collaboration” being part of our future of work, he’s talking about more than interpersonal communication. For instance:

  • Computers will be more than a tool; they will become our partners.
  • Freelance work will be more common. Work will center around projects, and technology will help bring them together and complete the work. After that, people will move on to other projects, often with entirely new team members.

What Else is PARC Working On?

In addition to changing how we work, PARC researchers are also working on “clean technology,” a segment that is ripe with rapid change and innovation. Here are some of the projects that The Future of Work Show highlighted:

  • Lasers that produce light out of a wafer plane. These surface emitting lasers are particularly useful for optical fiber data transmissions.
  • Advanced fuels cells that perform at commercial standards.
  • Printed electronics: New applications that reshape the cost and complexity of electronics so that integrated circuits will be printed into products during the manufacturing process.

“We put people at the center of technology,” Hoover explained to Morgan. “Technology is supposed to make our lives better, which is why we use good science to understand people’s problems.”